Make Believe Melodies Logo

Category Archives: Music

Into The Move: Yukio Nohara Featuring Pee. J Anderson “Floresta”

Yukio Nohara teams up with Pee. J Anderson for an understated disco cut. Nothing too complex with this one — the pair start simple with a beat and a bass line, slowly adding a few other elements. Yet they never go overboard with it, as the bulk of “Floresta” revolves around the same two pieces that start the song off, just explored in different ways. From that, the pair construct a bouncy dance track. Listen below, or get it here.

New Okinawa Electric Girl Saya X AX: “Chastity”

Noise can be escape, but it can also be confining. Early on, it feels like the latest from Okinawa Electric Girl Saya and AX might go too hard on the intense stuff. “Red Noise” and “Vacuum” lean into feedback, creating these blasts that would fit at home in any “Japanoise” show going down at an underground club. But it also feels like a lot, and a whole album of this onslaught might be better as an idea than a listen. Saya, however, mixes in plenty of other ideas alongside the harshness. She creates steely beats bordering on the industrial on the physical “Saya Goes To The City” while she conjures up mirage EDM for the sweltering “Heat Haze.”

The biggest revelation here is how well Saya works with others. CRZKNY stops by to add some ominous beats to the noise on the apocalyptic “Love Machine,” while Foodman lays down an on-brand off-kilter beat for her to sing over on “O.K.N.W.” The highlight comes in collaboration with Soejima Takuma, the team creating a glassy and breathy electronic number late that is a total departure from the noise around it. Yet all this variety only makes those passages of aggression feel so much more liberating. Get it here, or listen below.

Self Analysis: MON/KU’s “Inner Odyssey”

“Inner Odyssey” aims to figure itself out, though the journey itself really does end up being the highlight. Artist MON/KU has dabbled in the disorienting and downright suffocating, but here they get a bit more playful. With singing coated in digital effects, MON/KU slithers through the slight electronic backdrop, just trying things out until a saxophone rips in. From there things slow down, fizzle and pick back up, almost feeling like electronic improv. Yet this unpredictability sells it. Listen above.

New Nate And Flip Flop Fly: “Reflects My Self” And “Intersect”

Big week for rapper Nate, involved in two of the best songs released out of Japan over the last seven days. She takes centerstage on “Reflects My Self,” a woozy number that finds her sing-rapping (and adding in some delightful ad libs) over a rippling electronic beat close to Local Visions’ brand of out-of-time-ness. It is just the right backdrop for Nate’s delivery, here concealing plenty of longing, and prone to being manipulated into a near-Vocaloid thing that helps it meld in well with the electronic backdrop. Listen above.

She also teamed up with another rising act, Magical Ponika, as Flip Flop Fly on the song “Intersect.” This one inches a bit away from ennui in favor of a tag-team approach over a kitchen-sink beat that finds the pair pogoing on top with boasts and a generally upbeat disposition. Listen below.

New Universe Nekoko: “Kimi No Youni Ikiretara”

“Kimi No Youni Ikiretara” is made for the tender-hearted teen lurking within. Universe Nekoko have been students of shoegaze and indie-pop since starting out, but this release finds them just nailing the feeling just right. Maybe I’m just getting a bit too wistful for youth, but “Kimi” captures that sense of longing lurking underneath waves of electric guitar distortion. It’s a feeling clear right from the opening chug of “Virgin Suicides,” noise colliding just right with drama. “Like A Raspberry” holds back on any sort of catharsis in favor of slow-simmering tension, while highlight “(I’m) Waiting For The Sun” nods to MBV most directly with some distorted guitar notes before giving over to noise. Get it here, or listen below.